Why did house prices fall this month?
The average cost of a home in Great Britain has fallen for just the second time this year. Prices fell by an average of 1.1% (-£4,159) in November, to £366,999. The slight drop is in line with the trend we usually see at this time of year, and is in line with the five years before the pandemic. One of the reasons we often see a drop in house prices around now is because sellers will price more competitively at this time of year, to increase their chances of finding a buyer before the New Year.
But even with this dip in prices, the average house price is still 7% higher than this time in 2021. The main reason for the strong house price growth we’ve seen over the last two years is because demand for homes far outweighed the number of homes for sale. As home-movers were faced with less choice and chased too few properties for sale, prices were pushed to an all-time high. The good news for home-hunters is that we’re seeing more homes listed for sale. The number of new sellers putting their homes on the market was up 13% this month, compared to the same period a year ago. And the stamp duty savings put in place in September are set to stay until March 2025, as announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
What’s happening with mortgage rates? Recently, lenders have tightened the rules around mortgage affordability. This is to make sure people will still be able to afford their monthly mortgage repayments, along with other outgoings, should their payments increase. Higher interest rates also mean that it’s now more expensive to borrow money, so monthly mortgage payments are, on the whole, higher than they were just a few months ago. While mortgage rates have begun to fall over recent weeks – down from the highs they reached just after September’s mini-budget – it can mean that your mortgage options might be more limited at the moment, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Our property expert, Tim Bannister, says: “The era of historically low interest rates and the buying frenzy are over, which could make way for a more normal market that opens up potential opportunities for those who were put off entering the frantic market over the past two years.”
If you’re turned down for a mortgage with one lender, it doesn’t mean you’ll be turned down by all lenders. You can speak to a qualified mortgage broker or adviser to work out what your options are.
Information courtesy of Rightmove.